September 8, 2010

Jewelry Swap... My Creative Process

I just heard from Davinia, and she likes the necklace I created for her!!!  I'm so excited and relieved.  I've been worried since sending it.  So, I'm glad to know I hit the right note with the piece.  Now that she has received the necklace, I can go through my interview questions, her answers, and how I interpreted her answers to come up with the necklace I created.  I hope you enjoy this peek inside my mind (and aren't frightened away by my little oddities).

I tried to ask questions that would give me insight into her peronality and her life.  I didn't want to simply ask what she wanted, and then create it.  I wanted to be inspired by her, and create something based on how I felt after "meeting" her.  Here are the questions I came up with to help in my process. 

Beadativity:  What piece of jewelry would you like? Necklace? Bracelet? Earrings?
Davinia:  Necklace
This question was pretty straight forward.  I wanted to make sure I created something she would like and would wear, so I asked what piece of jewelry she wanted. 

Beadativity:  What is your lifestyle like?
Davinia:  Fairly routine and boring, I work partime and still have 2 adult children living at home (will they ever leave?).
This question is still a pretty standard question.  Knowing what kind of lifestyle she lives helps me make a lot of decisions about the jewelry.  For example, if she had two young kids, she might need a really sturdy piece of jewelry.  Since she has two adult children, the jewelry doesn't have to stand up to the trials and tribulations of small children.  However, I did want to make something that can easily transition from work to casual life. 

Beadativity:  What are some activities you like to do?
Davinia:  Jewelry making of course, I'm an avid reader and a bit of a TV watcher. (love Glee)
Another question that tells me about her lifestyle and how/where she will wear the jewelry. 

Beadativity:  What colors do you like/hate?
Davinia:  I'm green person any shade, not really fond of red.
There are no secrets behind this question.  I just wanted to make something she likes.  I decided to give her control of the colors (or at least give me a pallet to work with).

Beadativity:  Are you allergic to any materials?
Davinia:  Not that I'm aware of
Well, I would hate to create something she couldn't wear!

Beadativity:  Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Lady Gaga, Janis Joplin, or some other icon?
Davinia:  Janis Joplin (she's my era, I'm a baby boomer)
This was an important question for me (and the beginning of me trying to really get inside of Davinia's head).  I think each person I included in the list has a very distinct style and is an icon in her own right.  Finding out which icon she identifies with tells me a lot about her personality.  Because she selected Janis Joplin (one of my favorites as well!), I wanted to create something organic and earthy for her.  I didn't want to create anything too formal or structured. 

Beadativity:  What is your favorite food?
Davinia:  Avacados
Okay, I have to admit that this question is just for fun.  I don't really have a way to directly relate it to jewelry making.  It was just another way to get to know Davinia and what she likes. 

Beadativity:  What is your favorite song/singer/band?
Davinia:  Being a baby boomer I have to say the Beatles.
Similarly to the icon question, the type of music a person identifies with can tell a lot about her.  The Beatles are great, and were such trail blazers!  Based on this answer, I knew I wanted to make something bold and daring.

Beadativity:  What is your favorite movie (or type of movie)?
Davinia:  I loved the Shawshank Redemption and the Green Mile and Stand by Me are absolute favourites.
I look at movies the same way I look at the icon and music questions.  All of the movies Davinia mentioned have huge heart.  I wanted to create something inspired and special... something with a heart of its own.

Beadativity:  Which of the following images do you relate to the most?
Davinia:  Number 4, I love the colours and the contemporary feel to it.

I didn't display all the pictures.  I just decided to show the picture she selected.  However, I gave her choices of a Thomas Kinkaid picture, a Dali picture, an Ansel Adams picture, and some others.  This question solidified my ideas about what I thought she would like.  It gave me a feel for what colors and what types of motion and flow she would like.  It reinforced what I'd learned in other questions.  After she selected this piece, I knew I had to make something organic and unstructured, but bold and special. 

Beadativity:  What is your favorite room in your house and why?
Davinia:  Definitely not the kitchen (hate cooking), probably the family room (nothing to do with family though, that sounds awful doesn't it) it's where my craft desk and computer are set up.
This is another question that is not directly related to jewelry making, but gives me insight into Davinia's personality.  I love how she answered it (with a bit of humor). 

Beadativity:  What is your favorite vacation you have ever taken and why?
Davinia:  Last Christmas my husband and I went to Tasmania for a holiday, I'd always wanted to visit and wasn't disappointed, it's everything I imagined and more.
Where people decide to vacation, and which vacations are the most special tell a lot about people.  From everything I've heard about Tasmania, it is awesome (unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit when I was in Australia).  It is somewhere I also have really wanted to go.  I'm glad it was everything she'd hoped!

Beadativity:  If you can go one place in the world, where would it be?
Davinia:  Canada
Similarly to her favorite vacation, knowing where Davinia hopes to go helps me get to know her better.  This is just another question that helps me "get in her head".

After receiving Davinia's answers, I knew the feeling I wanted the piece to have.  I knew it was going to be something funky, colorful, organic, informal, and fun.  I just didn't have a specific plan in mind.  I kept her answers in the back of my mind as I went about my normal life for a couple of days.  I knew that if I thought too hard about the project, I would never figure it out.  I needed to let inspiration come on its own. 

While reading one of the blogs I enjoy (Beverly Ash Gilbert's blog), I found the inspiration I'd been waiting for.  She posted a picture that created an entire concept in my head.  As soon as I saw the picture, I knew exactly what I wanted the piece to look like.  I just needed to figure out how to create it.  Since I love working with seed beads, I decided to paint the picture using beads.  I first found colors that worked with the photo and worked to melt the colors together.  Then, I created the rope part of the necklace using a version of freeform beadweaving.  Once the rope was done, I worked to create a pendant that focused on green since it is Davinia's favorite color.  Instead of creating grasses as the focus, I decided to think a little bigger and create the silhouette of a tree on the pendant and allow the branches to work their way up the chain. 

Without further ado, here are some pictures of the necklace I created!


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